Christmas Gift

Over the past few weeks, as the holiday preparations, travel, and festivities have devoured my free non-working time, I’ve been trying to decide on my next animal spirit guide painting. Earlier in the season, when the Canada Geese were making their southward journey, I felt really connected to their message of family. That image is still very strong, but the timing for me seemed off, especially now, watching the snow fall steadily in the final days of 2012.

Owl had been on my mind. I have owls gracing my work computer desktop, acknowledging me at the start of the day, reminding. This is how I know which animal is trying to come through—it’s subtle, but once you notice, it’s everywhere. I needed no further confirmation than the experience I had on Christmas Day. Sitting in my car in the driveway, waiting for loved ones to grab forgotten wrapped presents on the way to the family gathering, I saw a huge swooping shape from the edge of my periphery. An enormous (I suppose they are all enormous) gray barred owl landed on a low branch just 10 feet from the car. It was nearing dusk, just late enough for owl to be on the prowl, but a sighting this close is a gift.

I quietly stepped out of the car and just watched it for at least 5 minutes. Now and then turning its great feathered head to look at me, unconcerned. After a while, it took off for another branch farther away, displaying an amazing wingspan. This was my Christmas gift from the animals. Owl, you are next on the easel!